An Introspective Playlist

Beautiful South

I’ll sail this ship alone

… that what it’s all about, not other people, but complete breakdown, power and control, defence on the other side?

What can people do to articulate their lives, their wishes, their defeats and frustrations with each other in a holistic and empowering way for all? When you stand there in a wave of hate and know that you have something opposite to say but know that in the face of such hostility that poisons, the best action is to withstand without adding to it, but yet another time that won’t ever come. When do you get to say your piece? When the beast is quiet and pretending to sleep? It wakes, it can’t escape and something in it is desperate for you to give it a way back and make things better. But, sometimes what you have to say doesn’t make things better, words can be like knives and cut cords and heartstrings that bind. When heartstrings are cut they can’t really be put together again.

Billy Bragg


….my best years, a defiled tomb, a tidy place walked through with football boots and base desires. ‘Oh feeble man, oh evil man’ and if you sit in that church and listen to the organ music at a deserted funeral, in that clean, white place, with longing tears spilling out of your eyes, ‘Oh evil man, Oh feeble man’. Do you sit there in contemplation or defeat? Is it a sanctuary or a prison? Whatever happens you have to get out of there one day.


Last Good Day of The Year..’don’t tell me, that you are sick of living, is the sun forgiving?’ Like they say things disappear that you think you are sure of. Nothing changed, Minutes, hours, days, years, what measurement equals a success? What outcome?

‘Leaves are turning’, so am I from what I know to what remains a mystery- the ascetic life of focus, discipline and work to complete the life’s purpose that nothing can stand in the way of? A long overdue task or something that has been a work in progress all these years with lessons being learned all along to bring it to this holistic and logical conclusions. Maybe these aren’t beginnings but consequences.

Dusty Springfield

Going Back

An as above it’s all returning but with the wisdom of knowing that time is too precious to waste, that the role models your untutored chaotic mind adhered to of order and ritualistic following of routine were really mad and untrustworthy because, all along, instinct was right and the chaos surrounding us isn’t that at all but options flying high for you to pick whereas the battened down, ‘sense and order, routine and ordinariness’ shuts down, closes down and removes opportunity. ‘A little bit of freedom’s all I lack, so, catch me if you can. I’m going back’.

Elvis Costello

A Good Year for The Roses

The poor man, all left bereft by a scarlet woman leaving lipstick traces and a baby crying in another room. And yet we see that his concern is for the roses, the lawn needing mowing and a besmirched coffee cup by an unmade bed. There’s no need to find out why she needed to go. All the heroes are inarticulate men who give quiet support and provide whilst they deny the humanity in their partner and strip away everything that they once loved about them.

Etta James

Try a Little Tenderness

Weary, grief stricken and needing your help. And never ever getting it. He’s loving the song, the singer gives advice. He heeds it not, Will he ever identify that in that three minute song was all the advice needed that hours and hours and hundreds of pounds of counselling could never do. I played that to him once in an attempt to explain. After the bereavements and redundancies. He said ‘So what, you never do it for me’  now he says I’m cold and cruel because I’m not expecting it anymore.

Everything But The Girl

Apron Strings

Mine are tied and firmly knotted around me, I have three, and I love them there.

Love Is Strange

Yes. It is. What makes a person attractive? Their brain and their sense of humour, their compassion? I don’t know. Love is strange, we love our children, our partners, our family our friends, our colleagues, teams, countries, religion. So what is love and what is wrong with it and why does it die?



In search of peace I walked into the deserted graveyard, the gateway reminiscent of a far away country, a monument to a long ago war. The sun picked up pin pricks on the iced branches and beer cans half crushed and rusted lay testament to a summer evening of laughter or lone misery. I walked the square, the graves now gone – to India and resting places far away. A bundle of grey rags in the corner lay bunched up, soles of boots protruding scuffed, and worn. Sandy coloured hair on a young man, blue face, blue lips, eyes closed. A smooth cheek and no breath, curled, as if asleep, in perfect peace. Another monument to another war.

A phone call.

He had a rosary, I sat and said a prayer with him stroking his hair as I did like his mother would have done, at bed time; like she would if she were there, though would she be so calm or throw herself over him. Was he here, from someone who would stroke his hair back or someone whose indifference led to this?

He and I, we spent five minutes in peace together, I know his soul felt it.

And then sirens, boots crunching, blue uniforms, green uniforms, a tent, tape and then the boy was taken away, but he never warmed up.

I would have been young to be a mother to him but for five minutes, was a mother just the same.

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